The ecological importance of the Osa Peninsula’s diverse ecosystems is so unique that there are no simple terms to describe it. And there is no simple plan to protect it. Every action taken in creating the Eco-Community of Sierpe del Pacifico is evaluated for its environmental impact before it is implemented. No tree is cut, no area cleared, without careful analysis and consideration.
The Sierpe del Pacifico team, having immersed themselves in the Osa environment, choose to describe their development practices in real words, not words that market well. The team hesitates to use homogenized industry terms such as green, sustainable, or no-impact. In reality, no development is ever really truly green or no-impact, however reasonable, responsible measures can be taken to ensure that the real star of Sierpe del Pacifico — the environment — is nurtured to thrive and be enjoyed by future generations.
Highlights of Sierpe del Pacifico’s Eco-Measures
Reforestation: Of Sierpe del Pacifico’s 63 acres, 25 are reconstituted farmland with the owners’ actively managing the property through selective planting. What ten years ago was sparsely forested pasture land, incapable of supporting anything more than grasses, is quickly returning to its canopied rainforest natural state with some of the newly planted trees already more than 30 feet high. The reforestation provides habitat for many of Costa Rica’s indigenous animal species, as well as neutralizing a significant amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Working with the land, not against it: At Sierpe del Pacifico a minimal amount of land, 5%, has been cleared for home sites, roads, and viewing enjoyment. Though isolated pruning will be necessary to accommodate Sierpe del Pacifico’s river, mountain, and jungle views, the rainforest environment will be allowed to continue growing and prospering in this natural state. With the exception of some terracing needed to build roads and paths in areas of steeper elevations, the lay of the land at Sierpe del Pacifico has not been cut or altered in any way. All home sites and nature trail gradients are natural. Leaving the forest floor ecosystem undisturbed and constructing trails and stilt-built houses that compliment the natural contours of the land creates a more responsible and aesthetically pleasing environmental harmony.
Use of renewable energy sources: Nearly all energy on the planet was derived from the sun at some point: why not use it in its most pure, clean, and natural state? All homes in Sierpe del Pacifico will use a solar power generation system capable of producing the bulk of their electricity needs. Solar power generation systems are not only the most responsible way to meet your energy needs at Sierpe del Pacifico, they are also the most economical.
Designation of nature reserve areas: Sierpe Del Pacifico’s 63 acres are unique in that they contain 2 of Costa Rica’s most vibrant and rich types of eco-systems: mangrove, and canopied rainforest. These eco-systems are quite complex, and the time necessary for them to mature to the point of fostering maximum carrying capacity and species diversity is measured in decades. The land, the diversity, the natural beauty and its wonder — this is part of the complete package that makes the Sierpe del Pacifico property so special! Preserving its ability to prosper for generations to come is of the utmost importance. The entireties of the mangrove shoreline and wetland preserve area will remain free of any and all development. The entirety of the cerro atras (back hill) forest preserve — Sierpe del Pacifico’s largest concentration of primary and secondary growth trees will also remain untouched. Use of these areas is restricted to wildlife viewing and hiking along the designated nature trails.
At their best, the definitions of eco-measures and eco-tourism foster the idea of protecting the local natural environment and the local economical environment as well. Only when a community is secure and sustainable from an economic standpoint is it then able to fully develop an appreciation and protectionist attitude for its surrounding natural environment.
At any given time Sierpe del Pacifico is supporting up to ten local families through earned salaries and wages. Costa Rican Sierpe del Pacifico employees are included at all management levels of the development process and are always encouraged to contribute any and all ideas and information that they think might be beneficial to the overall quality and enjoyment of the Sierpe del Pacifico experience. The end result is a fusion of American developmental concepts with a uniquely Costa Rican environment. Sierpe del Pacifico team members take great pride in their town, their environment, and their work. Sierpe is a small town and strong, respectful relationships with the community expand the scope of “environmental harmony.”
Sierpe del Pacifico makes every effort to keep money spent on the development process local. In addition to supporting local businesses, Sierpe del Pacifico is also involved in the following local charitable activities; infrastructural improvements for Sierpe nursing home, sponsorship of local youth soccer, contribution of building materials and labor for improvements to the Ajuntaderas primary school, Sierpe youth fishing day and the bi-weekly Sierpe garbage pick-up.